Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Politics of religion and science

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Since BJP made history in 2014 and came to power with staggering numbers, there has been constant propaganda about religion taking importance over development and science. This perception to a large extent can be attributed to religious right in the US. In the US, people who are right leaning denounce evolution, say earth is 6000 years old and are generally anti science. The younger generation in India unduly influenced by the western media assume same to be the case in India. However, even a shallow look would show that they are wrong. Not only does religious right in India have no compunctions or conflict with science but the deeper you dive into one more your love for other comes out. I am not saying that all doctors, engineers and scientists in India are religious but it’s easy to see that lot of RSS members and politically right members have had a background in science.

A comparative aggregated analysis if often useful, but too dispel simple myths it’s often better to deal with details because after all devil is in details. I often see confused looks on my liberal friends face when I tell them Sambit Patra is actually an MBBS or Yogi Adityanath has degree in mathematics or that Mohan Bhagwat is a graduate of veterinary science and if you are not impressed with just graduation how many of us know that Murli Manohar Joshi did his PhD thesis on spectroscopy or that Rajnath Singh not only has masters in physics but was also professor and used to teach Physics. If it’s not just the degrees but the institutions you are looking for, we had Manohar Parrikar an IIT graduate, current governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha who has done his M.Tech form BHU.

One could argue this is selective data and we have equally educated people on left or in Congress who have much better educational background. While I will not agree that they have better educational background but they are often perceived to have one, if you look at congress “intellect” like Mani Shankar Aiyaar or Salman Rushide or Kapil Sibal all of them have background in literature and law not in science even the poster boy of intellect for Congress, Mr. Sashi Tharoor has background in literature only. You can take random samples and you will find that more often than not you will get a congress leader with background in literature and BJP leader with background in Science.

This is one of the places India’s religious right is very different and not comparable to United State of America’s religious right.

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